Tag Archive for God blesses His people

You Are in Full Control

A prayer response to Revelation 20:1-10,
Satan bound, freed, and cast into the lake of fire

Father, You bind and You loose the forces of evil
as suits Your purpose.
You give them just enough rope to
hang themselves.

When Jesus was being tortured and killed,
it seemed that evil had a free hand to do
anything it wished to the Son of God.
But even then, You were sending signals
reminding us that You were in full control:
Prophecies given long ago
were being fulfilled.
Pilate unwittingly testified to Christ
by his sign on the cross,
“Jesus the Nazarene,
the King of the Jews,”
The repentant thief acknowledged
who Jesus was.
As Your Son died,
You shrouded the world in darkness.
You tore the veil of the temple.
Even in those dark hours, You were still sovereign, loving God,
faithfully working Your loving will and
fulfilling Your timeless plan.

In the tumultuous last days,
when it seems that evil has a free hand to do
anything it wishes to Your dear children,
You will still be in full control.
You will still be sovereign God.
All will happen according to
Your loving plan.
You use even those who rebel against You
to bless Your people
perfectly and

Praise to You, sovereign Father!
We are always secure in Your care!

Listen and sing:
Hymn: God Blesses His People
Printed Music & Lyrics

The Lord Bless You

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Numbers 6:22-27

One of the most familiar blessings in the Bible is also one of the earliest. After God had delivered His people from slavery in Egypt, He spent 40 years leading them through the desert wilderness, testing them, teaching them, and forming them into His own people. During those years He gave this blessing to Moses and asked him to give it his brother, Aaron, and to Aaron’s sons, God’s priests in Israel. God told them to speak this blessing to the people of Israel:

The LORD bless you, and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26, NASB)

God delights to bless His people, and He wants us to know that He delights to bless us. But more than that, He wants to put His blessing in our mouths. He gives us chances to speak the Lord’s blessing over the lives of others, and to be blessed by God through the words of others. God wraps His people in the giving and receiving of His blessings.

But here, what specific blessings does God ask to be spoken by and to His people?

  • God is keeping us. He is always watching over His people. Read Psalm 121, which is a beautiful picture of God keeping constant watch over those He loves.
  • The Lord not only turns His face toward us, but He causes His face to shine on us. His face is the light of His love, and it beams on all of us and each of us. We are the focus of His joyful concern and personal care.
  • God is gracious toward us. He works to give us His very best, even though we don’t deserve it.
  • The Lord blesses us with His peace – not only with relief from conflict, but with harmony, fruitfulness, and complete well-being in Him.

Look particularly at v.27. This blessing, and all the blessings of God that we speak to each other, are not empty, pious wishes. They are God’s blessings. God has decreed the well-being of His people. We are simply His instruments, His spokespersons, speaking His blessings into the lives of others.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: God Blesses His People
Printed Music & Lyrics

God Blesses His People

When God was preparing Israel to enter the Promised Land, as He was forming them into a people who were uniquely His own, He commanded the priests to regularly bless His people with these words:

Yahweh bless you and keep you.
Yahweh shine His face on you and be gracious to you.
Yahweh lift His face on you and give you peace.
(Numbers 6:24-26, author’s translation)

To bless someone is to speak their well-being. Human speech, of itself, is relatively powerless. It is simply vibrating air. Though our blessings express kind intent, they are wishes, not commands.

But God’s words are sovereign, and so are His blessings. When He speaks, reality responds. When He blesses us, He decrees our well-being. And here in Numbers 6, as throughout scripture, God decrees the well-being of His people. He decrees the well-being of all who trust Him.

This special blessing in Numbers 6 doesn’t stop there. God wants His people to know that He is always keeping them. The word for “keep” means to watch, guard, and protect; to exercise great care over someone or something. For example, it describes the way one cares for a garden, or tends a flock, or watches over one’s own house.

Psalm 121:3-8 is a beautiful description of the way God keeps His people:

  • God keeps us constantly. He never sleeps.
  • God keeps us completely. Not even the sun and moon can touch us without His permission.
  • God keeps us in every place, in every daily activity, in every circumstance, in every season of life, now and forever.

But my favorite part of this blessing in Numbers 6 is God’s promises about His face. Remember the story of Esther? She was afraid to enter the presence of the king without permission, and if she entered without him extending his favor, she would die. But here, God promises that the light of His face is always shining on us. He is always a gracious, loving, welcoming King. He invites us into His presence, and when we enter, He lifts up His face toward us and blesses us with His peace. This peace is not just the absence of all conflict. It is wholeness, harmony, and well-being, all the best that our sovereign God can give.

What does the light of God’s face mean in practical terms? Turn to Psalm 44. The psalmist is recounting all the ways God provided for His people by bringing them out of Egypt, taking them through the wilderness, then into the Promised Land. They overcame major challenges every step of the way.

It was not by their sword that they won the land,
nor did their arm bring them victory;
it was your right hand, your arm,
and the light of your face, for you loved them. (v.3, NIV)

God’s blessing, His keeping, His compassion, and the smile of His loving favor are constant toward His people, toward all those who love and trust Him.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: God Blesses His People
Printed Music & Lyrics